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Make Process Improvement Results Visible: Play Eye Spy!

In a number of projects recently I have been playing a game of 'eye spy' to great effect. Can you remember that game from your childhood? You pick an object you can see and tell the other people playing what the object's first letter is. The person who guesses correctly first then gets to have a go.

Pretty simple game.

The approach I have used is to help my clients see whether a change has taken effect or not. For most business leaders they can use their KPIs as a gauge as to whether the change has taken effect. For the people who don't see the KPIs, but who are performing the new process, the eye spy game works rather effectively.

To use this approach you need to be clear on the cause (the new process / tasks) and the expected effect (the new result / behaviour).

The logic is that when the new process is embedded and working properly then you should be able to see the outcomes that you are looking for. There is sometimes a lag between the cause and the effect when it comes to business improvement projects. Having a practical way to relate the change can be really useful for the people involved and it makes the follow up meetings really practical.

So, rather than bogging people down with data (and guessing if the change has worked) you can choose to be more visual and look for the observable results. The trick is to translate the outcome you are hoping for into visible behaviours.

Over to you.


Giles Johnston
Author of 'Business Process Re-Engineering', a practical plan to improve business performance.

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Want more time for your projects? Try the 'Hour of Pain'!

Do you find your day being broken up by interruptions, stopping you from getting on with your work?

Continuous improvement projects often fall foul of this. The day can become so inefficient through the constant stopping and starting that we only just seem to have enough time to get the 'day job' completed.

I was in a meeting last week where this same issue cropped up. It also cropped up today. It's nothing new, but it is still a pain in the rear!

So, let me share with you an approach that has worked for my clients - the 'Hour of Pain!'.

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

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Six Quick Tips to Help Continuous Improvement Deliver Results Faster In the guide I share how to:
Use the continuous improvement cycle properly.Get projects moving, if they are slow to start or have stalled.Identify the 'biggest bang for your buck' when reviewing opportunities.Determine the level of change you need to achieve through your improvements.Flip staff grumbles and concerns into positive improvement actions.Increase the overall rate of progress on your projects. All of the tips are highly practical and are no-cost strategies.
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Enjoy reading,

Giles
About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous i…